09 Sep 2022

Industry's message to Truss government - reverse anti-landlord policies

The National Residential Landlords Association has issued its formal congratulations to Simon Clarke, the new Housing Secretary.

But Ben Beadle, NRLA chief executive, has issued an immediate warning to him about his policy priorities.

“The new minister will need urgently to address the rental housing supply crisis. Damaging tax hikes and uncertainty over reforms to the private rented sector are leading many landlords to leave the market when demand for rented homes remains high. All this is doing is increasing rents, making it more difficult for those wanting to become homeowners” says Beadle.

“The government needs to look afresh at the rental reform White Paper to ensure the plans in it have the confidence of responsible landlords.  This needs to include action to tackle anti-social tenants, scrapping plans that would damage the student housing market, and reforming the courts to ensure legitimate possession cases are dealt with more swiftly.”

Letting agents’ body Propertymark is also calling on the new Truss government to consider a new approach to the lettings supply crisis.

Propertymark chief executive Nathan Emerson comments: “Our latest market insight reports show for every rental property available there are an average of 11 applicants, while home buyers outnumber sellers by seven to one. This is creating affordability issues, particularly in the private rented sector.

“We believe that gap can be closed through measures that bring the many tens of thousands of long-term empty properties back and the introduction of focussed targets for new homes that are based on an identified need for each tenure across the country.”

She says: “The introduction of EPC, EICR and new regulations affecting rental accommodation and landlords has been welcomed overall.  However, the latest proposals and plans for system, grading and regulation is too ‘one size fit all’ given the variety of housing stock our country has. 

“London will definitely bear the force of this. Landlords are already finding it difficult to stay on top of the all new regulatory improvements. Tenants too, who make up 47.3 per cent of London households, are facing a serious lack of choice when it comes to renting and a circa 30 per cent mark-up in rental price.”

And another agent – Jack Reid, founder of Orlando Reid – adds: “The government needs to encourage landlords to return to the market in the short to medium term to help stabilise the market and limit the risk of homelessness. The current rate of price growth in the lettings market in London is the highest I have seen in the last decade and needs to be looked at by the incoming minister for housing [who] should make it easier and more cost effective to be a landlord over the next five years at least.  

“This will also benefit tenants and normalise rental prices during a difficult time when it comes to household bills and the rate of inflation. They should consider reversing some of their policies such as reintroducing tax relief on their mortgages and reducing stamp duty on second homes.”

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